Governor Baker: COVID-19 testing doubled, emergency child care sites to open

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker provided an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus Saturday afternoon.

Governor Baker said over the past two days the number of tests completed in a day has doubled from 520 Wednesday to 962. Baker said it is an 85% increase in the number of completed tests. Baker added that as testing increases, people should expect to see an increase in positive cases.

Since Wednesday, testing capacity generally has also grown. Testing capacity for the state labs and commercial labs was just under 700 on Wednesday and increased to 1,144 as of Friday. This represents an increase in capacity of almost 65% for a testing capacity over a 48 hour period.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

Baker said the state will open selected emergency drop-in child care services for those who still have to work during the coronavirus pandemic. Baker said over 300 sites are ready to open on Monday.

“Child care is meant to be for those who must report to work. Outside of the obvious emergency responders and medical professionals, this will include critical service workers like grocery store employees,” said Baker.

Baker said discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has helped identified facilities, such as college dorms and nursing homes, in the state that could be modified to provide medical care for patients.

Baker reiterated that he still does not plan on a “shelter-in-place” for the state. He said he will take the steps based on the guidance of medical professionals and the advisory board, and will not implement a shelter-in-place just because other states have.

DPH reports 525 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts has increased to 525 as of Saturday, March 21st, according to data released by the state Department of Public Health.

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